Merry ate in his room that night. Neither father nor son wanted to see each other. After dinner he crawled into his bed, fully dressed, waiting. It had been decided that they would leave at three o’clock when most, if not all, of the household was asleep. Then he and Estella would ride to Gondor and a new life.
Merry held his breath as the great Brandybuck clock struck three. He counted along with the chimes in his head. “BONG! BONG! BONG!” they announced.
“Merry, are you awake?” a gentle voice asked.
“Estella, I didn’t hear you come in,” he said as he sat up. He could tell that she was smiling.
“I have a tendency to walk quietly, quieter than most other hobbits. It gave me a great advantage when I was younger to sneak up on my brothers.” They laughed softly.
“Are you ready?” Estella held up her small bag as an answer. Merry placed a letter on his bedside table for his parents, then took Estella’s hand as they tip-toed out into the smial.
Merry felt Estella sqeeze his hand tighter. Brandy Hall had never looked this dark before. It was almost frightening.
They were nearing the stables when the couple heard voices. Merry looked around for a place where they could hide. He couldn’t see anything. The voices were coming closer. Merry caught sight of a brush and they hid behind it just in time.
“I’m telling the truth; Mr. Merry is going to be disowned,” one said.
“I don’t believe that,” he friend replied.
“But it’s true. My Ruby heard the whole conversation. She said the Master and Mr. Merry got in a terrible row. Yelling and shouting.”
“I heard that the Master had actually thrown something at Mr. Merry, but I also heard that Mr. Merry threw something at the Master.”
“Aw now that’s bogus. You’ve been listening to the talk at the Green Dragon too long.”
“Well, I know they fought, but did he actually say he would disown him?”
“The Master said, ‘I will disown you!’ And Mr. Merry said, ‘Then do.'”
“That sounds like something Mr. Merry would say.”
The two hobbits’ voices faded as they walked away. Merry made sure that the cost was clear before he helped Estella up.
She touched his face. “Oh Merry, I’m so sorry.”
“Sorry for what?”
“For causing you all this pain.” Merry hugged her.
“I don’t mind it. I’m just worried about what this is doing to you.”
“I don’t care what happens to me. I’m not very important.”
You’re important to me. I love you, my sweet Estella. Don’t forget that.”
“I won’t. I love you too, Merry.”
Estella held tightly to his waist as they rode away on Stybba. As they were nearing the border of the Shire, they turned around and gazed at what might be their last sight of their home.
Esmeralda walked over to her husband. He was going to sign the paper that would legally say that Merry was not their son in a few minutes. She felt that she had to do something to stop this. Esmeralda started massaging his shoulders. He leaned into her touch.
“Saradoc, don’t you think your being a little harsh on Merry?”
“Esmy, if Merry wants to be a stubborn mule, then let him be one and see what the consequences are.”
She sighed. “He is not the only one that’s being a stubborn mule.” Saradoc turned around to look at his wife.
“I am not,” he said definsively.”
“My dear, you are. Do you remember when we were Merry and Estella’s age?”
“Our families didn’t want us to get married. My side thought you were too stuck up and your side thought that you deserved better. We married anyway.”
Saradoc smiled. The memories of when he was young and in love with the Took lass named Esmeralda created a lump in his throat. “We ran away and Tom Jollencomb married us,” he sighed. “And our families couldn’t do anything about it.”
“Yes sweetheart. It is the same with Merry. Don’t disown him.”
“You’re right as usual, Esmy. I won’t disown him. Now where is the boy?”
As that moment they heard a scream come from Merry’s bedroom. Saradoc and Esmeralda rushed to see Daisy Knotwise screaming over a piece of paper. Estella snatched it away from her and read it.
“Oh no.” She sat down on the bed then handed the letter to Saradoc.
“It’s all my fault,” Saradoc whispered. Seeing that his Esmy was crying, he sat down on their son’s bed and comforted her the best he could.
Three weeks later
“King Elessar, the Lord Meriadoc and his lady!” Beregond exclaimed. Aragorn jumped up to meet his friend when he thought, “Meriadoc’s lady?” His questions were soon answered when he saw the tiny hobbit lass walking shyly behind Merry. He went to embrace them both.
“Well Merry, who is this?”
“This my friend, is Estella Bolger. She is my fiance. We are here because we wish that you would marry us.”
“I am pleased to meet you, Lady Estella.” Aragorn bent down and kissed her head.
“And I to meet you, sir.”
They dined that night with Aragorn and Arwen. Estella felt like a mouse compaired to the Lady Arwen. She was so beautiful it was hard to believe she was real. Estella felt so shy with these great people.
Later after she and Merry said goodnight, Estella wondered around the palace. Her fingers gently stroked the white stone. When she was little, Fatty had given her a white stone for her birthday. She had kept it and treasured it until it had been broken during the Occupation of the Shire. The thought of her little white stone broken and ground into a powder by the
ruffians still made tears come into her eyes. She forced them back and continued the walk.
Her eyes went grew wide as she entered the throne room. She had never seen anything like it.
“Estella?” a voice brought her out of her thoughts. It was the King.
“Oh my lord, I didn’t think anyone was in here.”
“You seem worried.”
“Well sir, I guess I am. You see, I am only a servant girl, plain and simple. I wonder if I am worthy of Merry, him being so high and great for a hobbit. His father didn’t want him to marry me. That’s why we’re here. I just wonder if Merry’s doing the right thing by marrying me.”
Aragorn nodded. “Arwen, could you come here please?”
“What is it Aragorn? Oh, hello Estella.”
“We need to tell Estella a little story.” Aragorn picked Estella up and set her down on his lap and he began to chant softly,
“The leaves were long, the grass was green
The Hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinuviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her rainment glimmering.
There Beren came from mountains cold,
And lost he wandered under the leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves
Her hair like shadow following.
Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.
He heard there oft the flying sound
Of feet as light as linden-leaves,
Or music welling underground,
In hidden hollows quavering.
Now withered lay the hemlock-sheeves,
And one by one with sighing sound
Whispering fell the beechen leaves
In the wintry woodland wavering
He sought her, wandering far
Where leaves of years were thickly strewn,
By light of moon and ray of star
In frosty heavens shivering.
Her mantle glinted in the moon,
As on a hill-top high and far
She danced, and at her feet was strewn
As mist of silver quivering.
When winter passed, she came again,
And her song released the sudden spring,
Like rising lark and falling rain,
And melting water bubbling.
He saw the elven-flowers spring
About her feet, and healed again
He longed by her to dance and sing
Upon the grass untroubling.
Again she fled, but swift he came
He called her by her elvish name;
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came
And doom fell on Tinuviel
That in his arms lay glistening.
As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tinuviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering
Long was the way that fate them bore,
O’er stony mountians cold and gray,
Through halls of iron and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless.“
He sighed. “That is called ‘The Lay of Beren and Luthien. Beren was the son of Barahir, a mortal, and Luthien was the daughter of mightly Thingol, an elf and therefore, immortal. Beren had just past through the Mountains of Terror and was in Thingol’s kingdom when he beheld Luthien dancing. She was the most beautiful living creature the world had seen and Beren fell in love with her. He called her Tinuviel, which means Nightingale. They were separated for a long time and they had to endur much sorrow. But together they cast Morgoth from his throne and rescued a Silmaril from his crown, which Beren presented to Thingol as a bride-price. Luthien became a mortal and soon the world lost her that it most loved. But from the union, the ineage of the great Elf-lords has desended among Men, and it is said that line will never end.” He paused.
“The union of elf-maid and mortal has happened yet again.” He squeezed Arwen’s hand.
Estella didn’t know what to say.
“Both Thingol and my father, Elrond disapproved when they found out that their daughters were in love with mortals,” Arwen said. “But they approved in the end. Merry’s father shall also approve in the end, Little One.”
“I will be happy to perform the marriage, Estella.”
“Thank you sir.”
“Now go to bed so you can be bright and shining for Merry tomorrow,” Arwen said. They kissed her forehead and said goodnight.
Estella started singing as she walked to her bedroom,
“The leaves were long, the grass was green
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair…“
I hope you liked it.
*Diclaimer* Not mine; it’s all Tolkien’s. It’s his, precious, not mine. Gollum!